[[quoteright:306:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_battle_of_greendale_7977.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:306:It was a battle that would forever change the lives of those involved...]]

->'''"[[ViolenceIsTheOnlyOption Between two groups of people who want to make inconsistent kinds of worlds, I see no remedy but force.]]"''
-->-- '''Oliver Wendell Holmes'''

In 2012, a film-crew went to Greendale Community College to record an attempt to make the world's largest blanket fort. Instead, they recorded something very different; a bitter breakdown in relations between two best friends that would spill out into open hostility and which would divide the campus into two teams of violent enemies, resulting in the largest and longest pillow-fight ever seen at a community college -- the conflict between the pillow fortress of Pillowtown, led by Abed Nadir, and the blanket fort of Blanketsburg, led by Troy Barnes. It was a battle that would change the lives of those who fought it [[SeriousBusiness while still being just a pillow fight]].

The resulting documentary, "Pillows and Blankets", uses the witness testimony, status updates and text messages of those who were there to reconstruct both the conflict, devastation and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking increasingly hurt feelings]] on both sides and the difficulties of those split down the middle between the two, from the ministrations of battlefield nurse Annie Edison, to the blurry war photography of Britta Perry, from the divide in loyalties of Pierce Hawthorne and Shirley Bennett to the diplomatic efforts of Jeff Winger, who must decide between helping to patch up the broken friendship between his two friends or [[HardWorkHardlyWorks seizing an opportunity to avoid having to go to classes]].

----
!! Tropes appearing in this episode of ''Series/{{Community}}'' include:
* AccidentalAimingSkills: Britta finally takes a good picture, and of an important moment no less, the truce between Abed and Troy... by accident. She was actually trying to take a picture of the light coming off a stack of waffles, which came out blurry.
* ActorAllusion:
** To KeithDavid. "Hey, were you in ''Series/TheCape''?" [[TakeThat "...No."]] Doubles as a CallBack.
** According to Pierce's medical record, his physician is [[{{Fletch}} Dr. Rosenrosen]]. (The same piece of paper gives Pierce's birthdate as Oct. 8, 1943, the same as Chevy Chase.)
* AffectionateParody: Of Creator/KenBurns' documentaries, specifically ''[[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar The Civil War]]''.
* AmazingFreakingGrace: Starts off as a piano solo but turns into a duet with fiddle.
* ApocalypticLog: Many student cellphone footage act as these.
* ArmorOfInvincibility: Pierce's DoomsdayDevice. Made out of pillows.
* AttentionDeficitOohShiny: Abed's intercepted email suggests that Troy gets distracted easily - including by shiny objects.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Shirley is downright ''vicious'' on the battlefield.
* BlindBlackGuy: One of the talking heads, commenting on Abed and Troy's war.
* BloodKnight: Shirley becomes the pillow-fight equivalent of this trope.
* CallBack:
** "Daybreak" by Michael Haggins (the song from Abed's story in "[[Recap/CommunityS3E05HorrorFictionInSevenSpookySteps Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps]]") is finally played instead of being hummed or vocalized.
** The Changlorious Basterds, [[Recap/CommunityS3E12ContemporaryImpressionists recruited at a bar mitzvah]].
** Jeff's knowledge of ''Series/TheCape'' comes from "[[Recap/CommunityS2E21ParadigmsOfHumanMemory Paradigms of Human Memory]]", where one of the unseen episodes apparently ended with everyone becoming fans of it.
** Jeff's wariness of the film crew stems from his experiences in "[[Recap/CommunityS2E16IntermediateDocumentaryFilmmaking Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking]]" and "[[Recap/CommunityS3E08DocumentaryFilmmakingRedux Documentary Filmmaking: Redux]]."
** The first pillow fight is referred to as a [[Recap/CommunityS2E22AppliedAnthropologyAndCulinaryArts "kerfuffle"]].
** Shirley's [[Recap/CommunityS3E09FoosballAndNocturnalVigilantism childhood nickname]], "Big Cheddar" is brought back as she returns to her vicious alter ego in the pillow fight.
** Jeff's habit of improvising "hot-button patriotic dogma" as a rhetorical technique, including baseless references to 9/11, [[Recap/CommunityS1E01Pilot shows up]] [[Recap/CommunityS1E05AdvancedCriminalLaw once]] [[Recap/CommunityS1E09Debate109 again]].
** [[Recap/CommunityS1E23ModernWarfare A chaotic campus-wide battle ensues as the result of everyone]] [[Recap/CommunityS2E23AFistfulOfPaintBalls taking a usually innocent leisure activity]] ''[[SeriousBusiness way]]'' [[SeriousBusiness too seriously]] [[Recap/CommunityS2E24ForAFewPaintBallsMore thanks to a promised reward which causes nothing but trouble.]]
** Troy knows about "all tomatoes" because Annie gave him and Abed one in "[[Recap/CommunityS3E07StudiesInModernMovement Studies in Modern Movement]]" regarding the Dreamatorium. One can assume in his burst of maturity, he misheard it.
** [[Recap/CommunityS2E02AccountingForLawyers A flier for the Greendale Hat Club]] is found in Annie's clinic.
* CameraAbuse: Most of the documentary footage is supposed to be from cellphones. But see also Shirley going into battle.
* CaptainsLog: Jeff at the end of the episode.
* CastingGag: The episode is narrated by Keith David, who often narrates the Ken Burns documentaries the episode parodies.
* ChildSoldiers: Played for laughs with the Changlorious Basterds, who [[CreepySouvenir make necklaces out of mattress tags]].
* CollegeRadio: "Fat Neil" is now a campus radio DJ, "Real Neil." He plays "Daybreak" which reminds both Abed and Troy of happier times.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: The territories held by the two sides are depicted as blue and red on the map. This then translates to the 'uniforms' the soldiers wear; Abed's troops wear burgundy-red, with pillows for helmets, where Troy's forces wear light blue with bandanas to represent blankets.
* CombatPragmatist:
** Chang likes to play dead and then get up and start whaling on people when they turn their backs. He also hits a guy after the war's over.
** Shirley explains that while it might be common courtesy to stop hitting enemies who are down, if they get back up, you need to keep hitting them.
* CreatorCameo: Creator/DanHarmon as "English Memorial"
* CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming: In-universe. Annie sees Jeff leaving the room and waiting long enough for Troy and Abed to think he got the imaginary "magical friendship hats" from the Dean's office so he can end the conflict and save their friendship as one. She is unaware that he actually DID go all the way there.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: Britta takes pictures of the war using black and white film but as the narrator points out:
-->'''Narrator''': Unfortunately for Britta and millions of photographers like her, just because something is in black and white doesn't mean it's good.
* {{Diary}}: Annie keeps one and Jeff starts writing in one.
* DistressedDamsel: The Dean takes on this role in the Study Room Kerfuffle, screaming for Jeff to "Find me!" as the battle rages around him. Cut to Jeff... disinterestedly ignoring him and playing with his phone.
* DoomsdayDevice: The "unstoppable" plush juggernaut, mentioned by name.
* DontExplainTheJoke: The narrator explains the name behind the Changlorious Basterds. Not even he gets the joke.[[note]]The Basterds were recruited at a bar mitzvah, so they're likely Jewish (as is Chang, possibly), much like the Basterds in the movie.[[/note]]
* DualWielding: Shirley. With pillows.
* EpisodeTitleCard
* FatalFamilyPhoto: Parodied with a picture of Troy and Abed which has been torn in half.
* FelonyMisdemeanor: The Changlorious Basterds making necklaces out of mattress tags.
-->'''Annie:''' This is when things get as ugly as they can get... while still being a pillow fight.
* FencePainting: Jeff's social engineering to keep the war going to his benefit.
* FourStarBadass: Shirley becomes the commanding general of Troy's army while also being one of the top fighters.
* FreezeFrameBonus:
** Apparently Leonard fought in the Korean War... on the side of the North Koreans.
** Pierce's schematics have amusing comments highlighted by TheKenBurnsEffect, and the others are funny too.
** Next to the Human Being poster of legal and illegal places to hit with a pillow, there's a flyer advertising April 19th-23rd as Dean Appreciation Week.
*** There's also a flyer for someone's "Birthday Bash" on [unseen month] 11/12.
** Pierce's medical report references his broken legs from "[[Recap/CommunityS2E07AerodynamicsOfGender Aerodynamics of Gender]]", as well as his full name, Piercenald Cornelius Hawthorne (though his middle name was Anastasia in "[[Recap/CommunityS3E06AdvancedGay Advanced Gay]]").
** Blooper: When Chang is standing next to the bulletin board, there is a "Fall 2010 Schedule of Classes" posted using the E Pluribus Anus logo which wasn't invented until after Fall 2010 classes had already started.
* FriendshipMoment:
** Jeff going back to get the imaginary friendship hats from the Dean's office, despite the fact that no one is around to see him.
** Also, an earlier, more subtle one; throughout the episode Jeff is dismissive and uninterested in the conflict, regarding it as infantile the first time he tries to mediate peace between Troy and Abed and using it only as an excuse not to go to class. Once he learns that Troy and Abed's relationship has deteriorated to the point where they're actively starting to hurt each other's feelings, however, he immediately begins taking it more seriously and genuinely working to try and resolve the conflict.
* GeneralRipper: Leonard is Abed's top general and advises him to unleash Pierce's DoomsdayDevice on the Changlourious Basterds.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** Apparently, the spellcheck on Jeff's phone changed the spelling of his message so that it read that he heard Chang's crew were really 'ducking' things up.
** Doubles as some minor TruthInTelevision and a possible TakeThat; most smartphones, especially iPhones, tend to revert the F-word with "ducking" in an effort to keep texts "clean."
** Annie's text to Jeff: "WTF? Sadface. Special icon of a downward thumb"
* GenreSavvy: Jeff has learnt from [[Recap/CommunityS2E16IntermediateDocumentaryFilmmaking previous]] [[Recap/CommunityS3E08DocumentaryFilmmakingRedux examples]] that whenever a documentary crew is following these characters around, chaos tends to result.
* GiftedlyBad: Britta as combat photographer.
* GuinnessEpisode
* HaveIMentionedIAmHeterosexualToday: Troy, in TheTag.
* HellIsThatNoise: {{Invoked}}. At 12:07am The Pillowtownians are playing Go Fish when Blanketsburg attacks, howling. "Did you hear that?" "What the hell is that?"
* HeyItsThatGuy: [[InvokedTrope Invoked.]]
* HeyItsThatVoice: KeithDavid narrates the episode in the style of the works he's narrated for historical documentarian Ken Burns.
* HumansAreBastards: Discussed.
* HypocriticalHumor:
** Troy and Abed
---> '''Troy:''' We're grown-ups now. We have grown-up problems.\\
'''Jeff:''' ''[Watching Troy and Abed repeatedly hit each other with pillows]'' That's very clear.
** Shirley claims there were no rules and then describe "common courtesy" rules.
---> '''Shirley''': There were no rules in that first battle. You hit someone and they went down and... you stop hitting them. Call that "common courtesy." But then when they get up, you maybe keep hitting them till they learn to stay down. You call that "common sense."
* InMediasRes: The episode picks off where the previous one left off.
* IntrepidReporter: Britta thinks she's this. She's terrible at it.
* IResembleThatRemark:
** Jeff tries to make the conflict go away by giving Troy and Abed "imaginary friendship hats that automatically make you friends again." Troy solemnly states that things are more serious than that...as Troy and Abed remove the imaginary hats.
** Also after the war, when Troy insists that he and Abed have genuine grown-up problems to address... [[HypocriticalHumor while they're hitting each other with pillows]].
** During the war, Jeff would refer to the accusation that he was just improvising fatuous patriotic-sounding dogma as a [[ShoutOut Ferris Buellerian]] attempt to distract everyone so they'd keep fighting and enable him to avoid schoolwork as "a slanderous betrayal akin to 9/11." After the war, he would describe the same accusations as "essentially accurate."
* ItsQuietTooQuiet:
-->'''Narrator:''' Midnight comes and the campus holds its breath
* JerkassHasAPoint: Although he's sarcastic and dismissive about the conflict between Troy and Abed, Jeff isn't entirely wrong to characterise them as "children acting like grown-ups" for how they handle things.
* JitterCam
* TheKenBurnsEffect
* TheLawsAndCustomsOfWar: The two sides agree on a set of rules governing which parts of the body you are allowed to hit. ([[GroinAttack Groin Attacks]] are not allowed, but Annie treats incidental "lightly grazed testicles.")
* LemonyNarrator
* LookBehindYou: According to Abed's intercepted e-mail, Troy is easily distracted by "anyone saying, 'Look over there.'"
* TheMagazineRule: Friends Weekly, a magazine that Troy and Abed made up.
* {{Malaproper}}: Troy's "All tomato" (for ultimatum).
* ManipulativeBastard: Jeff, although see FriendshipMoment.
* MattressTagGag: Chang's army of 12-year-olds make ''[[FelonyMisdemeanor a necklace out of them]]''.
* MeaningfulEcho: The "imaginary magical friendship hats." The first time Jeff brings them up, he's being snide, dismissive and sarcastic. The second time, he's honestly trying to mend Troy and Abed's friendship.
* TheMedic: Annie becomes a combat nurse for both sides becoming "The Angel of the Battlefield." Mostly this involves just feeding soldiers Gatorade and brushing feathers off them.
* {{Metaphorgotten}}:
** The narrator in general enjoys pushing his metaphors to breaking point:
--> '''Narrator''': [Annie's] text messages with Jeff Winger give us a glimpse beneath the cushions of war to the lost pennies and grody q-tips of war's emotional toll.
** Troy and Abed get in on the act throughout as well:
-->'''Troy''': I'm giving you an [[{{Malaproper}} all-tomato]]. Meaning that you give me the whole tomato, or else. \\
'''Abed''': Blanketsburg has drawn FirstBlood; Pillowtown will draw ''[[{{Metaphorgotten}} First Blood Part II]]''.
* MisplacedNamesPoster: The start of the episode has still images of the main cast along with billing. Most of them are mismatched.
* {{Mockumentary}}: The entire episode is done in the style of a Creator/KenBurns war documentary like ''The Civil War'' or ''The War''.
* MundaneMadeAwesome:
** Facebook status updates, text messages and emails from the conflict are intoned with the same gravitas and meaning as if they were letters from the American Civil War, as in this example:
--->'''Annie:''' Jeff. Heard from one of Troy's soldiers about a speech you gave to troops at the blanket fort. Wish this war could be over, but proud of you for taking a stance. Text message: Annie Edison\\
'''Jeff:''' Thank you Annie. Proud of you too, and us all. Also wish the nightmare would end, but using what I'm given to give what I can. Jeff Winger.\\
'''Annie:''' Jeff, just heard from one of Abed's soldiers that you gave an identical speech to troops at Pillowtown. W-T-F, sad face, special icon of a downward thumb.\\
'''Jeff:''' Okay, you caught me. I prefer war to homework. How do you do that little thumb icon? I can't find it on my phone. Jeff Winger.\\
'''Annie:''' Jeff, you're disgusting! Troy and Abed's friendship is at stake. You can buy special icons in packages at the app store. Piece of sushi, birthday cake, stop sign, snowman, umbrella.
** [[CrowningMomentOfFunny "Leonard likes this post."]]
* MyEyesAreUpHere: As Annie is introduced in the voiceover introduction, the camera shows a photo of just her torso and then pans up to include her face.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone
** Shirley is clearly experiencing some regrets post-battle, and admits to camera at one point that she suspects she ended up beating down members of her own team in the chaos and bloodlust she experienced.
** Jeff is also noticeably uncomfortable when he discusses learning that Abed and Troy's relationship has broken down to the point where they're genuinely hurting each other's feelings; although it's never mentioned, given his role in extending the war so he could avoid schoolwork and his subsequent efforts to mend their friendship it's not hard to imagine this trope was in effect.
* NamesakeGag: Multiple times, combined into one long gag:
--> '''Narrator''': "The North Cafeteria, named after Admiral William North, is located in the western portion of East Hall, gateway to the western half of North Hall, which is named not after William Hall, but for its position above the South Wall. It is the most contested and confusing battle field on Greendale's campus, next to the English Memorial Spanish Center, named after English Memorial, a Portuguese sailor who discovered Greendale while looking for a fountain that cured syphilis."
* NewNeoCity: New Fluffytown
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Jeff's first attempt at a serious summit between Troy and Abed just ends with the two deciding their friendship is done and that once everything's over the loser will have to move out of their apartment before storming off. Jeff is rather nonplussed:
-->'''Jeff:''' Uhhh... I wanted that to go different.
* NonIndicativeName:
** See NamesakeGag. Several buildings on campus have cardinal directions in their names, but the actual basis of these names make little to no sense--for example, being named for ''people'' named North or for their relative locations to other buildings as opposed to campus as a whole. Then there's the English Memorial Spanish Center, named for English Memorial, a ''Portuguese'' explorer.
*** Surprisingly TruthInTelevision, to an extent. Harvey Mudd College has dorms named "East" (it's east of the academic buildings), "West" and "North" (which are west and north of East, respectively), and "South" (which is actually the northernmost of the four by a matter of a few feet or so, but the pattern had to continue). They are arranged similar to the four corners of a square so North is east of South, West is south of South, and East is southeast of South. In contrast, Greendale's names seem fairly sensible.
*** This happens often in real life when new buildings are added to campuses.
* NurseWithGoodIntentions: Played with, in that Annie's nursing skills do sort of come in handy; the joke, however, is that given the nature of the conflict it's either for extremely minor boo-boos or essentially brushing feathers off people, which everyone treats as if she were Florence Nightingale.
* OneWomanWail: Heard over The Battle of Greendale.
* OddlyNamedSequel:
** {{Discussed}}.
---> '''Abed's Facebook status update''': The war won't stop with ''[[Franchise/{{Rambo}} First Blood Part II]]''; it will escalate to ''Rambo III''. Which should really be called ''Rambo II: First Blood Part III''. But the Rambo titles never made sense. And neither does war.
** Also, this episode is a sequel to [[Recap/CommunityS3E13DigitalExplorationOfInteriorDesign Digital Exploration Of Interior Design]], but its title doesn't reflect that.
* OnlySaneMan: Jeff seems to be the only one who realizes that for all the drama flying around, the entire situation was a silly pillow fight. He only gets invested into the war [[HardWorkHardlyWorks in order to ditch class]]. He eventually gives up this mantle in order to save Troy and Abed's friendship by playing along with their imaginary friendship hats. He even goes so far as to go to Dean's office, picking them up and cleaning them off, despite the fact that nobody was watching.
* OverlyNarrowSuperlative: "In 2012, Greendale Community College was the site of the largest and longest pillow fight in community college history."
* PlayingBothSides: Once he gives up on trying to mediate the conflict, Jeff starts giving [[RousingSpeech Rousing Speeches]] to both sides in order to encourage them to keep on fighting. While the conflict is going on classes are suspended and he does not have to do any school work.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: Subverted with Jeff's writing at the end. He muses that although friendship is getting him to stop this war, everyone caring about their friends is probably why wars ''start.''
* TheRainman: The opening narration describes Abed as "unable to pay parking tickets or know left from right without mouthing the Pledge of Allegiance."
* RedOniBlueOni ...but reversed as far as the actual color-coding goes. Abed, the calmer, more rational of the pair leads the red side, while Troy, the more emotional and excitable heads up the blue forces.
* RousingSpeech: Jeff gives them to both sides just to keep the war going so he can delay class, much to Annie's disgust.
* SarcasmMode:
** Lampshaded and subverted; Troy and Abed reveal they're both aware Jeff's suggestion of 'friendship hats' which would make their problems disappear was intended sarcastically. Jeff turns it around by pointing out that just because he's a sarcastic person doesn't mean that they have to take it in the same spirit.
** Even the narrator eventually can't restrain his contempt for Britta's inept photography, although he intones it in the same dramatic tone of voice he uses for the entire documentary ("Yeah, gee, ''there's'' a good one.")
* ScreamingWarrior: Just about everyone in the FinalBattle, especially Shirley.
* SeriousBusiness: Both the participants in the conflict and the documentarians recording it treat the conflict between Blanketsburg and Pillowtown as if it was an undiscovered chapter of the American Civil War. Lampshaded by Annie:
--> The injured said they were [[CreepySouvenir making necklaces out of mattress tags]]. This is when things get as ugly as they can ''get''... ''[Sheepish]'' while still being a pillow fight.
* ShaggyDogStory: [[spoiler: The Guinness Book of Records executive gets fired and isn't coming, thus rendering the entire conflict utterly pointless. As soon as they learn this, everyone sheepishly and dispiritedly gives up and goes home except for Troy and Abed.]]
* ShapedLikeItself: "Pictured here lying down, Troy does not take Abed's email lying down."
* ShellShockedVeteran: Shirley
* ShouldntWeBeInSchoolRightNow: Lampshaded; following Troy's 'all tomato,' the Dean loudly wonders whether any of the students at Greendale actually go to any classes.
* ShoutOut:
** Jeff deliberately stirring the pot to delay schoolwork is noted as "[[Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff Ferris Buellerian]]."
** The [[Film/InglouriousBasterds Changlorious Basterds]], who taunt, [[GoodWillHunting "You guys like pillows? How do you like these pillows?"]]
** ''{{Rambo}}'': Abed mentions the phrase ''First Blood Part II'' in passing, then discusses [[OddlyNamedSequel2ElectricBoogaloo the series' numbering scheme]].
** Pierce's DoomsdayDevice [[spoiler: looks like a cross between ComicBook/IronMan Mark I -- with detailed schematics and wielding The Pillow of [[TheMightyThor Thor]] -- and the Michelin Man.]]
** [[Series/BandOfBrothers Band Of Brothers]] is imitated with the war veterans being interviewed and the iconic red line separating the episode number and title.
** There's no way that "The Real Neil with Pipes of Steel" ISN'T some sort of shout out to [[NewsRadio "The Real Deal with Bill McNeal."]]
* SuspiciouslySimilarSong: The fiddle solo playing over the introduction sounds quite a bit like "Ashokan Farewell."
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: After his first, unsuccessful foray into battle, Pierce feels the need to claim that the battle has given him [[TheLoinsSleepTonight erectile dysfunction]], [[BlatantLies which he's never had before then.]]
* {{Telethon}}: TheTag is a pledge drive for the Greendale campus TV station, with Troy and Abed offering PBS-style rates for [=DVDs=] of other documentaries more obscure than ''Pillows and Blankets'' (admittedly this would be [[AdamSmithHatesYourGuts the only place to get them]]) and making desperate pleas for funding that [[WeAreExperiencingTechnicalDifficulties get cut off in midsentence]].
* TitleOnlyOpening
* TurnCoat: Pierce initially supports Troy but switches sides when Shirley is promoted above him.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: Played for laughs; most of what we see of Jeff in stills and documentary footage involves him disinterestedly using his phone while chaotic pillow fights rage around him.
* ViolenceIsTheOnlyOption
* VisibleSilence: Leonard illustrates the sound of crap when it's about to hit the fan.
* WarIsHell
* WeUsedToBeFriends
* WhatTheHellHero: Annie is very angry when she finds out that Jeff is PlayingBothSides and sends him a text expressing her disgust.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: In a FriendshipMoment, Jeff actually goes to the Dean's office and picks up and dusts off the imaginary friendship hats, despite no one being around to make him.
* WimpFight:
** Played with; when everyone is pillow-fighting, it's no-holds-barred and vicious. When it's just Troy and Abed, however, they just sort of slap each other's sides with the pillows.
** Justified though, as they're obviously not trying to actually hurt each other, and actually ''want'' the fight to go on for as long as possible.